This year’s Microsoft/Xbox presentation at E3 was all about the games and service options that put your entertainment “everywhere you want it”.
The wireless racing wheel impressed when played with the upcoming Forza Horizon (Oct 23) racing game while Academy Award-winning director Gore Verbinski presented the exclusive Matter, a hero adventure game, which also incorporates the Kinect. Usher performed a live musical segment to promote Dance Central 3 (releasing this fall) that covers the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and ’00s plus a new multiplayer party mode for up to eight players. Resident Evil 6 (releasing this year) features three distinct, yet interwoven, storylines, each with its own pair of protagonists for either solo or co-op play, both offline and online.
Halo 4 (Nov. 6) marks the return of Master Chief and included footage featuring playable game experiences for single-player or cooperatively with up to four players. Tomb Raider and Call of Duty: Black Ops II game footage were also prominently featured while both games boast exclusive XBox downloadable content. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist features the newly formed 4th Echelon unit: a clandestine unit that answers solely to the President of the United States.
More Xbox exclusive games include Fable: The Journey (Oct. 9), which is set 50 years after the Fable III storyline, Ascend: New Gods, LocoCycle, and Avatar Motocross Madness. Games coming in 2013 include Gears of War: Judgment, set before the first game trilogy, castle destruction game Wreckateer, and South Park: The Stick of Truth, which was introduced by the TV show creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker.
Featured sports game presentations included FIFA 2013 and Madden NFL 2013, which featured Joe Montana calling plays, formations, and player movements by voice command. More sports channels, (NBA, NHL, MLB TV, etc.) will also be available as well as 24/7 live/HD programming events through ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN U.
Microsoft also announced the “future of fitness” – the Nike + Kinect Training experience will offer real-time feedback – the same Nike gives to its athlete partners. See the press release below:
At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) today, Microsoft Corp. and NIKE Inc. ushered in a new era of home fitness, unveiling “Nike+ Kinect Training” only on Kinect for Xbox 360. Featuring Nike trainers who work with some of the company’s top athletes, “Nike+ Kinect Training” is a custom training program rooted in elite Nike fitness and specifically designed to help athletes of all levels reach their potential in the comfort of their own homes.
Whatever your fitness goal, “Nike+ Kinect Training” will give you the tools to get you there. Through the magic of Kinect, the personal trainers within the experience can see how your body moves, assess your physical strengths and athleticism, identify areas for improvement, and create a personalized workout plan to help you achieve your personal best. With real-time feedback to make sure positions and movements are correct, the “Nike+ Kinect Training” custom program evolves as you do, helping you get fitter, faster and stronger.
“By combining Nike’s understanding and knowledge of great athletes with the powerful technology of Kinect, we have created a personal training program unlike anything currently available,” said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of Marketing and Strategy of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “Kinect becomes the eyes for ‘Nike+ Kinect Training’ instructors, bringing a new level of engagement and personalization to the program that blurs the lines between a personal training session and a game.”
Nike is the leader in sports innovation and has developed new ways to inspire athletes at every level with digital services such as Nike+ and the Nike+ FuelBand. With “Nike+ Kinect Training,” Nike training can be personalized for anyone — from a professional athlete to an everyday athlete or even for someone who is just getting started.
“‘Nike+ Kinect Training’ gives everyone access to the same training that we give our professional athletes. It merges our understanding of the greatest athletes in the world with the amazing sensor technology of Kinect for Xbox 360,” said Stefan Olander, vice president of Digital Sport at Nike. “‘Nike+ Kinect Training’ will make working out at home fun and inspiring, and with its seamless connection to two huge global communities in Xbox LIVE and Nike+, you’ll always find more motivation in someone to train with or challenge.”
Take your training experience further by competing in challenges, sending encouragement to friends, and staying connected with a mobile app that keeps you motivated and on track for your next workout.1 “Nike+ Kinect Training” will be available exclusively on Kinect for Xbox 360 during the holiday 2012 season.
The Smart Glass rumors materialized in a presentation where users can “turn any TV into a smart TV”. Voice search were extensively featured in multiple languages. See the press release below:
What if your tablet or phone knew what you were watching on TV and presented bonus features without you having to lift a finger? What if you could use your tablet to draw up a play in EA SPORTS’ “Madden NFL” and then perform it to perfection on your TV?What if you could control your favorite websites on the TV with a simple swipe, pinch or zoom on your tablet’s touchscreen?
To kick-start the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Microsoft Corp. today unveiled a bold new vision for enjoying entertainment at home and on the go with Xbox SmartGlass. Launching this year, Xbox SmartGlass is an application for Windows 8, Windows Phone, and other portable devices that connects phones, PCs and tablets with your Xbox 360 console to make your entertainment smarter, more interactive and more fun.1 The intelligence of Xbox SmartGlass makes your entertainment more engaging, Web surfing more effortless, and playing games more immersive by delivering companion content and control to enhance your TV experience.
“Xbox is on a mission to make the entertainment that you love even more amazing,” said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “With Xbox SmartGlass, we are lighting up entertainment across your phone, tablet, PC and TV in a completely new way. If you love to play games, watch TV and movies, surf the Web, or listen to music, there has never been a better time to be on Xbox.”
Two years after the launch of Kinect for Xbox 360, Microsoft unveiled the next step in its journey to make Xbox synonymous with entertainment by unveiling Xbox SmartGlass, Internet Explorer for Xbox, and new TV, movie and music offerings.
The Web Transformed for TV
Microsoft will launch Internet Explorer for Xbox this fall in all countries where Xbox and Xbox LIVE are available. Through the power of Xbox, the magic of Kinect and the intelligence of Xbox SmartGlass, you will be able to surf the Internet using your voice on your Xbox 360 and navigate using your mobile devices for an incredibly easy Web browsing experience on the television.2 Whether it is a new website you want to check out on the big screen, an HD video you want to share in your living room, or your favorite website you check daily and want to view in the 10-foot experience, you will have the power of the Web now on your TV.
Entertainment Keeps Getting Better on Xbox
Last year, Xbox added voice search powered by Bing and the power of Kinect, making it easier to find the entertainment you want. This year, voice search is expanding to 12 additional countries: Australia, Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain and Switzerland.
Adding to the current catalog of customized sports, TV, movies and music apps from world-leading TV and entertainmentproviders, this year Xbox will continue to deliver all the content you care about in unique ways.
o Your home for sports. Microsoft announced more must-have sports experiences and content coming to Xbox this year, further establishing it as the home for sports fans everywhere.
- NBA Game Time with NBA.com League Pass Broadband (U.S.) and NBA League Pass (outside of the U.S.). Fans who subscribe to NBA.com League Pass Broadband will have access to hundreds of out of market live games (blackout restrictions apply in the U.S. and some international markets), plus highlights from around the league and up to the minute stats of your favorite players.
- NHL GameCenter LIVE™ (Worldwide except Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden). Hockey fans will be able to enjoy every moment of the live action as it happens on the ice, with live games (out-of-market and blackout restrictions apply), more in-game interactivity, and replays and highlights on demand any time.
- ESPN (U.S.). Later this year fans will enjoy 24/7 live programming through WatchESPN from ESPN Networks – ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN 3 and ESPN U. All the favorites, including “SportsCenter,” “SportsNation,” “The Mike and Mike Show,” as well as ESPN’s coverage of the NFL, MLB and the NBA, will be live on Xbox. Xbox also announced regional sports provider SPORT1 coming later this year to Austria, Germanyand Switzerland.
o More TV and entertainment. Today, Microsoft announced more than 35 new content partners launching on Xbox over the next 12 months, including:
o Absolute Radio – U.K.
o Ameba TV – Canada, U.S.
o BreakMedia – Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, Singapore, South Africa, U.K., U.S.
o Comedy Central Stand Up – U.S.
o Comoyo – Denmark, Norway, Sweden
o Corus Entertainment’s Franklin the Turtle – Canada
o GameSpot TV – Australia, Canada, U.K., U.S.
o Headweb – Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden
o Indie Flix – U.S.
o Machinima – All Xbox LIVE markets
o Napster – Germany, U.K.
o Nickelodeon – U.S.
o Paramount Movies – U.S.
o Picturebox – U.K.
o Quickflix – Australia, New Zealand
o Rakuten ShowTime – Japan
o Revision3 – Canada, U.K., U.S.
o Rhapsody – U.S.
o RTL XL – Netherlands
o Slacker Radio – Canada, U.S.
o SnagFilms – U.S.
o Terra (Sunday TV) – Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico
o The AOL On Network – Australia, Canada, Netherlands, U.K., U.S.
o The Weather Channel – U.S.
o The Whistle – U.S.
o TOU.TV – Canada
o TV3 – Spain
o Twitch TV – U.S.
o Univision – U.S.
o Wuaki – Spain
o Youzee – Spain
o Xbox Music revealed.Microsoft showed a sneak peek of Xbox Music, an all-new music service coming to Xbox 360, Windows Phone and Windows 8-based devices.
MUSIC – You can say things like full screen, switch (split screen views), etc, and the system will respond. Xbox music – over 30 million tracks.
Xbox on Windows 8
This year Xbox will bring premium entertainment experiences to more than 180 new countries around the world when Xbox on Windows 8 launches, featuring four Metro-style apps: Video, Music, Games and Xbox SmartGlass.
With Xbox on Windows 8, you can play games with friends and earn achievements, listen to music, and enjoy your favorite TV shows and movies wherever you go. And with Xbox SmartGlass, you can start a movie or TV show on your Windows 8 device and finish it on the big-screen TV.
No extensive next console (a.k.a. XBox 720) announcements though the presentations hinted at tablet incorporation into Xbox 360/Live gameplay that mirrored rumored capabilities of Nintendo’s Wii U.